Murder of Parley P. Pratt,
One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Another Martyr has fallen—another faithful servant of God has sealed his pure and heavenly testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, by his blood.  Though our own dear brother according to the flesh, yet we weep not.  He fell in a righteous cause—he fell in the defense of suffering innocence, while endeavouring to aid by his letters a helpless female with her little children, to escape the fury of her savage persecutors.  He had been made acquainted, from the most respectable and reliable sources, with the sad and most heart-rending description of her sufferings.  Years ago, the poor woman had been turned into the streets of San Francisco, in a dark, dismal night, houseless and unprotected, by an unfeeling, brutal monster of a husband.  For years her life had been threatened, and deadly weapons brandished about her head; and to cap the climax of brutality, he tore the children from their fond mother’s embrace, stealing them, without her knowledge, and smuggled then on board a Pacific steamer, to traverse thousands of miles of water and land, unpitied and uncared for, to the distant port of New Orleans.  This inhuman fiendish act, added to the long catalogue of her sufferings, made her resolve to renounce for ever the society of one whom she could no longer look upon as a husband, but as a tyrannical, unfeeling, inhuman monster.  The final separation took place at San Francisco about two years ago.

Learning that her children had been sent to her parents, near New Orleans, she set sail, friendless and unprotected, for that port.  Upon her arrival, what was her surprise to find that her parents were in the dark plot, and that she could have no freedom with her own children.  And, at length, becoming wearied with the persecutions which she endured, she started without any acquaintance to accompany her, for Utah Territory—a journey of about three thousand miles, from New Orleans.  After incredible hardships she arrived in Great Salt Lake City, in the autumn of 1855.  In the autumn of 1856, she again returned to her parents in New Orleans, and sometime about the close of last year, she succeeded in rescuing the children from their unnatural and tyrannical bondage, and fled with her own little family to Texas.  But the hellish brute in California, from whom she had been separated about two years, came in pursuit; and having employed some of the old “Mormon” persecutors to join him in his blood-thirsty expedition, he, at least, discovered the object of his former abuse, and again tore from her embrace her lovely little children.

The sympathies of thousands who have been made acquainted with the unparalleled sufferings of this lady, have been aroused in her behalf.  Among these, we are proud to say, was that great philanthropist, and good man, Parley P. Pratt, who, on learning the facts of her escape with her children, sought to advise her, by letters through the post, of the pursuits of her old enemy.  While engaged in this work of humanity, this monster from California, swore out a writ against him and several others, under a false charge of larceny.  They were tried before the United States’ Commissioner, at Van Buren, Arkansas, and found not guilty, and discharged.  The murderer then, in a cowardly manner, waited for him to leave; and in about ten minutes after, in company with two other murderers, started in pursuit, immediately followed by others; all thirsting for the blood of innocence.  About twelve miles from Van Buren on the road leading northward, they came up with their victim—fired seven shots, and then stabbed him several times in his left side, one of the cuts piercing his heart.  After this he lived about two hours and a half.

And thus he fell the victim of his bigoted enemies, but the friend of suffering humanity.

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 13, 1857, 5]
[Millennial Star, 19:417]

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